New York Republicans are split in their responses to Donald Trump's comments in which the president disparaged immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations while calling for more immigration from Norway.
The Trump administration has announced its intention to end temporary protections for Salvadorans and Haitians who have lived in the USA since natural disasters in their countries more than a decade ago, as well as President Obama's deportation relief for people brought to the US illegally as children.
Trump denied on Friday using such derogatory language, but he was widely condemned in many African countries and in Haiti and El Salvador, and by global rights organisations. On Friday, he offered a vague denial of his comments to lawmakers, tweeting that he said nothing "derogatory" about Haitians. Do we need more Haitians?'
Orange County Commissioner Victoria Siplin, who is of Haitian ancestry, said Friday that Trump is misinformed about the island nation, the first independent country founded by freed slaves.
"President Trump denies using that language".
"I'm sorry but there is no other word for this but racist", a spokesman in Geneva said. I understand how powerful they are.
"I can not believe that in the history of the White House, in that Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday", the senator said.
"You've seen the comments in the press".
One Twitter user made a meme featuring Ann Coulter holding a sign saying "I'm a miserable person who peddles hate to make money off of dumb republicans".
White supremacist leader David Duke called Trump's comments the "perfect truth" saying he should "act on it".
"That's not something I want to talk about", former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said. Trump said, according to these people, referring to countries mentioned by the lawmakers. But instead of winning Trump's support, as they had expected, the president launched into a broadside against immigration from Haiti and Africa. Dick Durbin, who also attended the White House session, ripped Trump's comments Friday. Does this president reflect American values?
Amid the furore the president criticized the immigration proposal.
Ryan recalled his own family history of emigrating to the U.S. from Ireland.
"Wall was not properly funded, Chain & Lottery were made worse and United States of America would be forced to take large numbers of people from high crime countries which are doing badly", Trump wrote.
The president will only accept an immigration deal that adequately addresses the visa lottery system and chain migration-two programs that hurt our economy and allow terrorists into our country.
"It's too much for an objective journalist to call the president a racist", Graham said.
Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who was born in Cuba and whose south Florida district includes many Haitian immigrants, said: "Shame on him". CNN's Anderson Cooper said the words were clearly racist, but he stopped there.
Rene Civil, a left-wing activist in Haiti, demanded the U.S. president apologise "before the entire African continent, as well as before Haiti, the country whose blood has been used by ancestors who have served with their minds and bodies to liberate the United States itself from slavery".